3rd & 4th July
“When Jesus came by, He looked up at the Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today!” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.”
News of Jesus’ arrival in Jericho quickly reached the ears of the eager Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had a reputation of being a shrewd and dishonest tax collector who had gained his wealth by cheating people on their taxes. He was not a very popular man, much like every other tax collector in Jesus’ time.
When Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town, he made every effort to see Jesus, but due the large crowds and his short height, his vision was blocked. However, his desperation to see Jesus soon found him climbing a sycamore tree in hope of catching a glimpse of the Son of David. As Jesus neared the tree Zacchaeus had climbed, he called out to Zacchaeus by name and invited Himself to his house. Without hesitation and much to his delight, Zacchaeus climbed down the tree and took Jesus to his home.
While they were enjoying a meal together in the home of Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus convicted by the very presence and acceptance from Jesus, repented of his wrongdoing and promised to repay the evil he had done to the people he had cheated. Jesus applauded Zacchaeus’ noble actions and said that “salvation has come to this home today.”
Jesus’ agenda on this earth was always to “seek and save the lost.” He came for people like Zacchaeus. He came to show us that even sinful tax collectors can receive His grace. Jesus broke every cultural and religious rule by inviting Himself to eat with an unclean man, yet that didn’t bother Jesus at all. He was more interested in the heart of Zacchaeus and saw in him purpose, hope and a future. After Zacchaeus had experienced such tender loving care from Jesus, His life was completely changed. He realised his sinful actions, repented and set out to live a completely different lifestyle, a lifestyle that honoured God and brought glory to His name.
We too can know we are loved and accepted by a kind and gracious God despite of our sinful nature. He also wants to know us personally and wants to have an intimate relationship with us too. Will you accept Jesus’ invite into your heart? Has your life been transformed by meeting Jesus?